Brief Resolved Unexplained Event
(BRUE; Previously known as ALTE)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
A brief resolved unexplained event (BRUE) is a set of symptoms in an baby that have no known cause. It is when one or more of these problems last for less than one minute:
The cause of BRUE is not known.
BRUE happens to babies under one year of age. There are no risk factors because the cause is not known.
BRUE is when one or more of these problems last for less than one minute:
The doctor will ask about your baby’s symptoms and recent health history. You will be asked what happened before, during, and after the event. A physical exam will be done. BRUE is diagnosed if symptoms lasted less than one minute, the baby returns to normal health, and no other cause is found.
Tests may be done to rule out other causes, such as infection. These may be:
BRUE does not need to be treated. The doctor may want to see the baby again to do another exam.
The baby is not more likely to need it, but it is important for caregivers to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid.
There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatricians
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society
ALTE and BRUE. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
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Accessed March 11, 2021.
Brief resolved unexplained event (BRUE). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/brief-resolved-unexplained-event-brue-22. Accessed March 11, 2021.
Tieder JS, Bonkowsky JL, et al. Brief resolved unexplained events (formerly apparent life-threatening events) and evaluation of lower-risk infants. Pediatrics. 2016;137(5)e20160590.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 3/11/2021
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